Agbani Darego

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Agbani Asenite Darego
Beauty pageant titleholder
Born Ibiagbanidokibubo Asenite Darego
(1982-12-22) 22 December 1982 (age 31)
Abonnema, Rivers State, Nigeria
Other names Agbani Darego
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Hair color Black
Eye color Brown
Title(s) Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2001
Miss World 2001
Major
competition(s)
Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2001
(Winner)
Miss Universe 2001
(Top 10)
Miss World 2001
(Winner)
(Miss World Africa)
Official website

Agbani Darego, MFR[2] (born Ibiagbanidokibubo Asenite Darego,[3][4][5] 22 December 1982) is a Nigerian model, best known as the first Black African Miss World.

Early life[edit]

Darego hails from Abonnema in Rivers state, and was born into a family of eight children. At ten, Darego was sent to boarding school in a bid to shield her from her mother who had breast cancer. Darego's mother died two years later, and her daughter has spoken of how the loss prepared her for the future. As a teenager, Darego longed to be a model, and despite her conservative father's wishes, she auditioned for the M-Net Face of Africa modelling competition, but was not chosen as a finalist. After finishing her Secondary education, she attended University of Port Harcourt where she studied Computer Science and Mathematics.[6]

Pageantry[edit]

In 2001, Darego was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. Contrary to popular belief, Darego did not replace Valerie Peterside after the latter was dethroned, as she had won Miss Nigeria. A few months later she was a contestant at Miss Universe, and became the first Nigerian to place among the top 10 semi-finalists, finishing seventh overall. She was the only Black African|Black semi-finalist that year, and the only one to wear a maillot as opposed to a bikini during the swimsuit competition.[citation needed]

In November that year, she became the first black African to claim the Miss World title (Although past winners such as Penelope Coelen and Anneline Kriel are South African, they are of European descent, and Antigone Costanda, who represented Egypt in 1954 is of Greek heritage). Darego's victory was widely welcomed in her home country, and her one year tenure included goodwill trips and scheduled appearances on behalf of the pageant, and a national honour of MFR.

Modelling[edit]

Prior to winning MBGN, Darego featured in print commercials for boutique chain Collectables, and following her stint at Miss Universe was invited by Naomi Campbell to participate in Frock 'n' Roll - a charity fashion show in Barcelona and soon negotiated a modelling deal with Donald Trump's management to establish links with modelling agencies in America.[7] Shortly after her reign as Miss World she was represented by the London and Paris branches of Next Model Management and landed a three-year contract with L'Oréal, becoming only the second Black model to accomplish this feat after Vanessa Williams, and was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue. Other brands she has modelled for include Avon, Christian Dior, Sephora, Target, and Macy’s. Darego has also appeared in Elle, Marie Claire, Allure, Trace, Stitch, Cosmopolitan, and Essence magazines, working with numerous designers including Oscar de la Renta, Marc Bouwer, Tommy Hillfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Gianfranco Ferre.

In her homeland Darego has appeared in advertising campaigns for hair care brand Gentle Touch with supermodel Oluchi, and is currently the face of Arik Air.[8] She has also graced the covers of Complete Fashion, Mania.,ThisDay Style,Genevieve,True Love, and TW Magazine.

Other work[edit]

Darego has judged numerous pageants, and fashion and modelling competitions including Miss England 2002,[9] Mr. Scotland 2002,[10] and Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012.[11] In 2010 she launched a style and fashion reality show Stylogenic on Nigerian television, and three years later announced her denim range, AD by Agbani Darego, which will include jeans, dresses, and bags.

Personal life[edit]

Due to her busy work schedule, Darego left the University of Port Harcourt, but after moving to New York where she was signed to Next Model Management and Ford Models she enrolled at New York University where she studied Psychology, graduating in May 2012.

In 2012, it was reported that Darego was engaged to marry Timi Alaibe, a prominent politician; this was later denied on Twitter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garner, Lesley. "Agbani's rise to the top". Mail Online (London, UK). Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Ogunbayo, Modupe (7 August 2011). "Newsliners". Newswatch (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Alonge, Osagie (16 May 2012). "Agbani Darego graduates from New York University". Nigerian Entertainment Today (Lagos, Nigeria). Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Agbani Darego to marry Timi Alaibe". Daily Times (Lagos, Nigeria). 18 June 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Top Model Africa
  6. ^ I Wear What Fits
  7. ^ Anne Titilope now Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria
  8. ^ Agbani Darego Becomes Arik’s Brand Ambassador
  9. ^ Tomorrow, the world; Brainy Miss England gives lie to the old jokes
  10. ^ Red-hot prize girls
  11. ^ Glitz, glam of Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
India Priyanka Chopra
Miss World
2001
Succeeded by
Turkey Azra Akin
Preceded by
Matilda Kerry
Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria
2001
Succeeded by
Ann Suinner